- NAME: Harold Ramis
- OCCUPATION: Film Actor, Director, Producer, Screenwriter
- BIRTH DATE: November 21, 1944
- DEATH DATE: February 24, 2014
- Did You Know?: Harold Ramis once worked as a substitute teacher.
- EDUCATION: Washington University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Chicago, Illinois
- Full Name: Harold Allen Ramis
- AKA: Harold Ramis
Best Known For
Harold Ramis is best known for creating and starring in several comedies of the 1970s and '80s, including Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day and Knocked Up.
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Born in Chicago in 1944, Harold Ramis is known for creating and starring in some of the most successful comedies of all time, including Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day and Knocked Up. Ramis died on February 24, 2014, at age 69.
"We all wish we could be in more than one place at the same time. People with families feel guilty all the time-if we spend too much time with our family, we feel we're not working hard enough."
"We are all several different people. There are different aspects of our nature that are competing."
"How one handles success or failure is determined by their early childhood."
"I always claim that the writer has done 90 percent of the director's work."
"Acting is all about big hair and funny props... All the great actors knew it. Olivier knew it, Brando knew it."
"Nothing reinforces a professional relationship more than enjoying success with someone."
Famed actor, writer, director and producer Harold Allen Ramis was born on November 21, 1944, in Chicago, Illinois. Known for both creating and starring in some of the most beloved comedies of the 1970s and '80s, including National Lampoon's Animal House (1978), Caddyshack (1980) and Ghostbusters (1984), Ramis admired such comedians as the Marx Brothers, Sid Caesar, Ernie Kovacs and Steve Allen while growing up in Chicago. A good student, he was selected as a National Merit Scholar while in high school.
In 1967, Ramis graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, earning a degree in English literature. After a string of jobs, including as a substitute teacher, he landed a position at Playboy magazine as a jokes editor. He eventually became an associate editor at the publication, but left to join the famous improvisational comedy troupe Second City in 1969.
While with Second City, Harold Ramis became known for his sharp intellect and quick ad-libs. (Other distinguished performers in the troupe during this time include John Belushi, Bill Murray and Brian Doyle Murray.) By the mid-1970s, Ramis had joined Second City's television show, SCTV, as a writer and performer. He worked with a number of other comic talents on the show, including John Candy and Eugene Levy.
One of Ramis's biggest breaks as a writer came in the late 1970s. Working with Chris Miller and Doug Kenney, he co-wrote the screenplay for the hit college comedy National Lampoon's Animal House (1978), starring John Belushi and directed by John Landis. Ramis then co-wrote one of the most popular comedies of the summer of '79—Meatballs, a humorous look at a dysfunctional summer camp starring Bill Murray.
Ramis made his directorial debut in 1980 with Caddyshack. Starring veteran stand-up performer Rodney Dangerfield, the comedy pokes fun at a posh country club and its snooty members. In addition to his directing duties, Ramis wrote the film's script with Doug Kenney and Brian Doyle-Murray. Stepping in front of the camera the following year, Ramis co-starred with Bill Murray in the military send-up Stripes (1981); he played the best friend of Murray's character, who joins the Army with him, in the film.
Murray and Ramis went to work together again, battling the supernatural with Dan Aykroyd in Ghostbusters (1984). In perhaps one of his best-known roles, Ramis played the super intellectual Dr. Egon Spengler in the film (Murray and Aykroyd played the two other scientists with whom Spengler forms a company to remove unwanted ghosts from people's homes). Behind the scenes, Ramis worked with Aykroyd on the film's script. All three actors participated in the 1989 sequel.
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